Current Airport Expansion
Muscat International Airport has in recent years experienced a period of healthy growth in passenger numbers, this positive and considerable growth is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. It is being driven by a number of factors including fleet and route expansion by the national carrier Oman Air, and increases in capacity and frequency by the existing carriers. This in turn is being fuelled by the growth and development of the tourism industry within the country as well as strong commercial and economic activity.
In response to these significant increases in passenger numbers and to allow the airport to maintain appropriate levels of service to its customers, a number of improvement projects have been initiated to deliver additional capacity and meet the expected future increase in passenger traffic until the new terminal building is operational in late 2014.
The expansion projects are designed to improve the existing passenger terminal building, focusing primarily on key passenger processing areas to relieve congestion at peak times and to ensure that passengers using the airport can still enjoy a comfortable and convenient experience as they arrive, depart or transfer through the airport.
New Departures Building
A pier adjacent to the departures terminal building was built and opened in April 2009, the new pier provides an additional
17,000 sqm of passenger circulation and retail space across two levels. The Pier features a large waiting and circulation area for departing passengers at first floor level with approximately 1,800 seats, new bathrooms, praying rooms, smoking room and the provision of a wider choice of retail, food and beverage outlets, combined with excellent view of the apron. The first floor interior is a combination of marble and carpeted floors, with Omani themed decor and feature lighting.
The ground floor features eight bus boarding gates each with an approximate capacity of 160 seats with a provision to combine two gates for the new generation of very large aircrafts. The ground floor features a combination of marble and vinyl floor coverings. In total the new pier can accommodate 3,000 passengers at one time.
A fully automated transfer baggage screening and processing facility is also accommodated within the pier. This facility offers significantly improved baggage sortation and screening facilities, improving both baggage connecting times whilst providing substantially increased levels of security.
The investment cost for the new departures building and associated baggage screening facilities was R.O. 15 million.
In late 2008, the international baggage reclaim hall at arrivals was enlarged by 30% to provide increased passenger circulation space at baggage collection points. Two of the existing baggage reclaim belts were replaced with new belts in order to improve the baggage belts efficiency, whilst the third was extended by 100% to increase baggage offloading and passenger reclaim capacity.
The landside departures hall and hold baggage screening facility and queuing area were also extended in this case by an extra 700sqm of floor space, in order to increase queuing and passenger circulation space. In addition the check-in hall was also expanded by an extra 1200sqm to provide an additional 20 check-in desks. Muscat International Airport now has a total of 58 check-in counters and associated queuing and circulation space; increasing the check-in hall capacity by 53%.
In 2009, new office space was constructed for airlines to ensure that there is adequate facilities for their business to grow and for new airlines to be accommodated. The total cost for the arrivals area, departures and new office extension was R.O. 3 million.
Outside the terminal building, additional aircraft parking stands were constructed in 2007, creating an additional 6 stands for large aircraft or 8 for medium sized aircraft. Muscat International Airport currently has a total of 32 stands. The total cost of the additional aircraft stands and for the drainage system project was R.O. 4 million.
The car parks were expanded in the year 2010 increasing the capacity of the total car parks at the terminal building at Muscat International Airport to 1,542 spaces, the total cost for the car park new system upgrade and expansion was approximately R.O. 408,000.